Author Topic: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement  (Read 39852 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2012, 04:21:38 pm »
Ok, the vblog you made sounded just so much like reading their marketing material. It's just so downright Fan-boyish that IMHO it does not suit your normal style.

The marketing material is all I had to go on, it had only been announced a few hours earlier.

Quote
I do admit that it is *theoretically* possible that Makerbot team has been able to innovate something totally unique making their system  remarkable better than existing Repraps (with that money, it could happen). If they do that, then the price and marketing could be considered justifiable. Time will tell, there are plenty 3d printers coming to market and it won't be easy for them to become Out-of-box system success.

When it comes down to it, Makerbot will live or die by the quality and value for money of their product. No amount of VC funding or industry rep/goodwill will save them if they have a turd.
As I have not played with one, I don't know if it's a turd, just average, or great value for money. Yes, a $3K machine can be great value for money, just like a $300 machine can be great value for money, or a turd.

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2012, 04:33:08 pm »
Sorry, I don't think so. Who has ever build a inkjet printer, this technology is very precise and also uses a stepper motor.
I think a 3D printer is actually a simpler design, just look at the extruder head.
A lot of people thought we never needed computers at home I think is some form or shape this technology will be in every home in the future.

Yes, but I don't think you are thinking 4th dimensionality!
Yes, the head on inkjet printers are very evolved and precise. But once you have that nailed (which took maybe 20+ years), the rest of it is much simpler than a 3D printer.
In an inkjet printer:
1) There are no thermal issues
2) The Y axis is one direction only, and single pass. A minute and it's all over. It can use a simple roller to slide the paper.
3) There is no Z axis.
4) There is no issue with repeatability. 3D printer need to be repeatable over hundreds of thousands of vector operations over just for a simple print.
5) Will always be smaller and lighter, and be able to be built with simple non-ridged mass produced frames. This does not seem likely for 3D printers unless something radical changes.
6) There are few real alignment issues.

Don't mistake the apparent simplicity of the operation of a 3D printer with what is required to get excellent results from one on a repeatable and consistent basis for the consumer market.

I've always said 3D printers will be in every xmas stocking in maybe 5 years time.

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2012, 04:36:35 pm »
Indeed. And you know what that means. They won't. They packed that information in a bunch of marketing bull so it doesn't hurt to much. They are just looking for a way to get away with closing the design and not leaving to much scorched earth and disappointed customers behind.

Indeed.
Bre's last quote says it all:
Quote
This isn’t the first change we’ve made to become more of a professional business, and it won’t be our last.
So it's admitted they are changing from being an OSHW company. The only question remains, what parts, and how much?
I bet their legal team have already determined that quite some time back.

Dave.
 

Offline dda

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2012, 04:58:52 pm »
since the replicator is open, if makerbot alienate the maker 'base', dome people will just fork it and pick up where makerbot left off.
 

Online IanB

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2012, 05:00:31 pm »
In an inkjet printer:
...
4) There is no issue with repeatability.

I'm still not seeing this. If you print a page with vertical lines on it every pass of the print head has to repeat the same horizontal alignment precisely to 1000ths of an inch or your image gets zig zaggy.

Frankly, just looking at videos of the Makerbot in any of its incarnations makes me feel it lacks good engineering design. It seems to be a case of jumping on a bandwagon and fancy marketing over attention to detail and reliable performance. I might be persuaded to drop $500 on one as a throw away purchase, but no way would I spend over $2000 on something that seems so complicated and unpredictable to use.

I'm sure competing products now and in the future will demonstrate better technical execution and will ultimately provide more attractive options for purchase.
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Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2012, 06:39:00 pm »
Here's the real difference, a big stepper motor requires even better control and the motor itself better be precise too due to the weight!
What do they use in inkjet printers? DC Motors! Because there's little weight to shuffle around and therefore more precise movements can be handled BUT do you have thermal issues, really?

A 3D printer needs to be a few orders of magnitude more precise to print precisely to 1000ths of an inch compared to a inkjet
 

Online free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2012, 10:47:59 pm »
You can get greater accuracy using dc motors with servo's on them. Or even using linear motors.
Harddisks use linear motors.
Huge cnc machines use dc servo. Otors. Pick and place machines use dc servomotors.
Or you can use ac servomotors.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2012, 02:24:06 am »
Here's the real difference, a big stepper motor requires even better control and the motor itself better be precise too due to the weight!
What do they use in inkjet printers? DC Motors! Because there's little weight to shuffle around and therefore more precise movements can be handled BUT do you have thermal issues, really?

A 3D printer needs to be a few orders of magnitude more precise to print precisely to 1000ths of an inch compared to a inkjet
Another big difference is also that the print head on a normal 2D printer moves at a fixed speed, that speed maybe mixed with an encoder, makes the print head fire a little drop of ink out at the precise moment. A 3D printer can't do that, it must extrude the plastic at the right rate all the time, and must be able to make rapid changes of the speed it is doing it at. With a dc motor you got higher acceleration and de-acceleration than a stepper motor, plus it is much harder to control, not saying that it can't be done.

Most of the first 3D printers, both reprap's and makerbot's were all using DC motors in the beginning for the extruder, and they all had just those problems. Today not many use them any longer (last time I checked we had 1 on the reprap irc channel, and he was in the process of changing that to a stepper motor too).

Huge cnc machines use dc servo.
No, they also more and more use linear motors, but there are still some servo motors to be found in them. :)

And that brings up a whole new problem too, just to wrap it all up, because one of the older cnc lathes we got where I work AGAIN got encoder problems. So suddenly the X axis can fall 0.05mm without the machine knowing, because the encoder somehow failed to register some impulses. To be able to track a DC motor and make it turn exactly as you want it to, you need to have an encoder on, to get a good reliable result, you need a good encoder, to get a good encoder you need to spend even more money and need more wires to get the readings back to the controller.

Such an encoder for a 5mm shaft could be one from Zapp, which would then be around £36 for the encoder only, and seems to be in a good an usable quality... And a stepper motor that could perform same task would be just over £13...
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 02:32:39 am by Mikey »
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Offline dda

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2012, 07:07:15 pm »
There is an interesting blog post at sparkfun http://www.sparkfun.com/news/963 about viability of oshw. Sounds like a direct comment to the makerbot kerfuffle (eg, 150 employees etc).

The thing that separates makerbot from sparkfun/adafruit/arduino/?? is what exactly? Maybe a question to think on. I'd think the risky thing about makerbots business is it's lack of product diversity compared to the cost of it's product.
 

Offline dolabra

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2012, 07:09:39 pm »
I don't think that this generation of 3d printers will be in every home,  It will take another evolution to get there. It will have to be a system that doesn't require moving heavy thermal print head around.  I bet it will be similar to the SLA processes. A laser or a UV print head will raster across a vat of resin creating an object in the vat.  Maybe it will be a deposition system with the resin being dropped from a inkjet like print head and a UV light to cure the resin.  But I think the thermal deposition systems will become the pen plotter of the past, replaced by more reliable raster based systems.  Just like dot matrix printers there will be an initial decrease in quality going to the raster system, but the cost savings will make people  adopt it and then in successive generations the quality will increase.
 

Offline dolabra

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2012, 07:24:26 pm »
thanks for posting that link to mbot3d.  I'm glad to see the old thing-o-matic back,  I was about to buy one when the replicator came out and they phased out the old one.  I felt kinda sad about it, I didn't want the upgrades and the upgraded price.  In this case I think smaller is better, I don't need to print large things.  I still may not buy one, because there are lots of other options, I'm just glad to see the someone is keeping the old design alive.  In this case I see no problem in this clone,  the designer abandoned the design and left current owners left on their own, these people stepped in and filled the need. Bravo.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2012, 07:33:02 pm »
The thing that separates makerbot from sparkfun/adafruit/arduino/?? is what exactly?

A couple of big differences:
1) Makerbot has VC funding, the others do not. That means that the people who founded Makerbot are not in control any more.

2) Makerbot have essentially only one major product at a very high price point. The others do not, and in some cases have hundreds of products to spread the risk et.al e.g if someone clones the MintyBoost and everyone flocks to buy it from them instead of Adafruit, it would barely rate on Adafruits balance sheet.

Dave.
 

Offline Mikey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2012, 07:47:28 pm »
... to spread the risk et.al e.g if someone clones the MintyBoost and everyone flocks to buy it from them instead of Adafruit ...
This was a big problem here when the economical crisis started. There were MANY companies in the metal working industry working for single big companies like Danfoss and so, and when they cut down, the smaller companies making parts for them suddenly was without any income...

So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made? Maybe it is too low on the professional scale for professionals to buy it, and at the same time too expensive for hobbyists to buy it.
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Offline David_AVD

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2012, 09:01:44 pm »
This was a big problem here when the economical crisis started. There were MANY companies in the metal working industry working for single big companies like Danfoss and so, and when they cut down, the smaller companies making parts for them suddenly was without any income...

Yes, having one major client can make for a very risky business future.

Also, if you only make one product, you'd better be damn sure there's a good market for it.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2012, 11:10:57 pm »
So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made?

The VC's lose their money, Bre is out of a job, and the world continues spinning.

Dave.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2012, 01:58:43 am »
So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made?

The VC's lose their money, Bre is out of a job,

And no one in the open source community will even take a lollipop from him after this current stunt. But unlike the 150 engineers who will be out of a job, too, he should have some savings in the bank.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2012, 02:07:57 am »
So it is risky what makerbot does, what if they fail with that single product they made?

The VC's lose their money, Bre is out of a job, and the world continues spinning.

Dave.
Well, I didn't really consider what would be the consequences on a world scale, more like what it would mean to them. Already when they stopped selling their TOM and no longer offered kits they narrowed their market down.
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Offline Richard345

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2012, 08:00:13 am »
They go in the wrong direction, I think. It can't be very successful to bring such a project to semi-professional scale.
The Replicator 2 still won't be a stable, "user friendly" source for "high quality" printouts. It's not possible at this price. Regardless, hobbyists would like it. Small business professionals, with need for 3D printing, spend their money on modeling software and their time on modeling. They have the choice to send models to printing services that have the better printers, the better materials, the fitting technology available for each project.

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2012, 12:20:47 pm »
They go in the wrong direction, I think. It can't be very successful to bring such a project to semi-professional scale.
The Replicator 2 still won't be a stable, "user friendly" source for "high quality" printouts. It's not possible at this price.

How do you know?, have you tried it?
I still haven't heard anyone name a competing commercial 3D printer in the same price bracket with similar looks and (claimed) performance.
They may very well be in a good niche that works for them, I would not write them off.
I'm not sure about the viability of their retail shop front in this price bracket. Their target "engineers, designers etc" market would be better serves with a few roving salespeople that come and demo the unit at your workplace.

Dave.
 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2012, 01:52:48 pm »
I'm nore interested about the IP misuse (and mislabeling) than commercial (or not) success of the product. This I posted to another site.

Quote
For the feasible solution I'd recommend Makerbot-inc to release their corporation-hold of thingiverse if they can't uphold the sprit and legal aspects of open source any longer. It's obvious that the VC:s are calling the shots and original people behind the company are either thown out or bough into submisson with plenty of $$$ ..

In the end I belive that one shared Opensouce based respositery will be good for all. And Makerbot can still release theor parts/designs like others. This way thei will get all the goodwill they can, and I'm sure they will get their fair share of trafic and attention. I'm sure it's been good

I'm more worried about people more and more hiding their new designs... There has been plenty neat stuff at Thingiverse, and it's likely to (at least partially) collapse due all this. There's been talk of making a new alternative repositoruy, but copying the old designs will be complex operation since it's unlikely you'd be able to reach all designers in decent timeframe for opinion/permission.
 

Offline hodx

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2012, 08:02:06 am »
Who cares if its open source or not....life goes on....Bre, will be jobless soon, as soon as his backers find a Steve Jobs type person....Adafruit makes little breakout boards, sure i copied the eagle files...but...I never make any of there boards...I make my own with fewer parts and different chips.Open Source is good for all the little kiddies that starting out in electronics,they keep the Adafruit and Sparkfuns in business by buying parts from them...If the electroniics movement dies again, so will they...its all supply and demand...what a rant...I sound like Dave  ;D
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 09:27:13 am by hodx »
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2012, 03:47:19 pm »
I make my own with fewer parts

Chinese engineering.
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Offline Richard345

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2012, 04:14:13 am »
How do you know?, have you tried it?

No, but I've already seen many different models from rapid prototyping and I think, this approach of spitting thermoplastics out of a printhead has its limitations in comparison to stereolithography or even laser sintering. And every model needs some small corrections and finish, sometimes less, sometimes more...perhaps even print it a second time...so why not turning to a service, from which you get a certain quality and look for a certain price.
It might be the best printer you can get at this price, but I doubt that the outcomes convince professionals. When talking about quality, consider that these prototypes are not solely for engineers, who understand the capabilities of such a device. But they can imagine their models when looking at the CAD anyway. These things are often made for presentations to average consumers in a business position. The first thing they do, when the get it at their fingers, they flip it to its weakest point, compare it to their iPhone and ask: "It won't be that crude in production?"
 

Offline hodx

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2012, 07:07:08 am »
@Bored@Work

  No...not Chinese Engineering...its called using your brain...and i use good parts...not HungLo parts....if i said this on the adafruit forum, i be banned like a friend of mine...never will buy from them again
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #356 - Makerbot Replicator 2 Announcement
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2012, 07:15:02 am »
Unless you really find a need for rapid prototyping 3D printers still do what they do best : quite slow prototyping at a reduced cost
Sure, laser sintering and stereolithography but asking somebody to do the services for you can cost quite alot on the long road, but that said if you don't do prototypes too often hiring some company's services is a good idea

But as you said, this is for semi-professionals so i doubt they even want a slow prototyping model, i think. But, who knows?! It's really about your need.
 


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